Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980) developed a model describing how human go about making sense of their world by gathering and organizing informations. This idea provide an explanation of the development of thinking from infancy to adulthood.

According to Piaget, certain ways of thinking are simple for an adult but are not simple for a child. For example Piaget asked a 9-year old:

“What is your nationality?

  • I am Swiss.
  • How come?
  • Because I live in Switzerland
  • Are you also a Genevan.
  • Not that’s not possible I am already Swiss, I can’t also be Genevan.

Some times all you need to do to teach a new concept is to give students a few basic facts as back ground. In other times, however, all the facts in the world are use less. The students simple are not ready to learn the concept. Like the 9- year old above, they have trouble with classifying one concept (Geneva) as a subset of another (Switzerland). They may think that they will some day cross the ages of their brothers and sister. They may also confuse the past and future.


StageApproximate AgeCharacteristics
1. Sensorimotor0-2years1) Beings to make use of imitation, memory, and thought.
2) Beings to recognize that, objects do not ceases to exist when they are hidden.
3) Moves from reflex actions to goal-directed activity.
2. Preoperational2-7years1) Gradually develops use of language and ability of think in symbolic form. 2) Able to thin operations through logically in one direction.
3) Has difficulties seeing another person’s point of view.
3. Concrete operational7-11 years1) Able to solve concrete (hands-on) problems in logical fashion.
2)Understands laws of conservation and is able to classify and seriate.
3)Understands reversibility.
4. Formal operational11-adult1) Able to solve abstract problems in logical fashion.
2) Becomes more scientific in thinking.
3) Develops concerns about social issues, identity.

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